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JOHANNESBURG - The rand staged a recovery yesterday, as the dollar retreated after a recent rally.

At 5pm, the rand bid at R12.5784 to the dollar, 21.52cents firmer than at the same time on Monday.

The currency recouped losses from a five-month low struck on Monday, helped by the dollar easing back from a five-month high.

The rand’s fortunes have been determined mainly by global market moves in recent weeks, in the absence of major shifts in local economic indicators.

A central bank business cycle indicator yesterday pointed to a slight slowdown in the pace of an economic recovery, but traders said its impact on the rand was minimal.

First-quarter gross domestic product data is expected to be released in early next month.

Economists polled by Reuters expect the central bank to leave interest rates unchanged tomorrow, while market expectations are for ratings agency S&P Global to leave South Africa’s sovereign rating unchanged on Friday.

Stocks ended higher yesterday, tracking an upbeat tone in major overseas markets as an easing of pressure on Italy’s debt markets coincided with China’s latest move to open up its giant economy to the rest of the world.

The blue chip JSE Top40 index rose 0.56percent to 51598.33 points and the broader all share index advanced 0.52percent to 58121.84 points.

Mobile phone giant Vodacom and drugmaker Aspen were among the top gainers on the benchmark index, rising 4.41percent to R153.49 and 4.62percent to R263.18, respectively.

Among the worst performers, Aveng slumped 23.75percent to R0.61 as investors worried that its tie-up with rival builder Murray & Roberts, which rose 0.5percent to R16.03, could be scuppered.

In fixed income, the yield on the benchmark government bond due in 2026 was little changed at 8.56percent.

Meanwhile, global stocks were mixed yesterday as Wall Street investors locked in recent gains while European shares approached four-month peaks as pressure eased on Italy’s debt markets and as China moved to further open up its economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.04percent at 25004.04 points in afternoon trade.

- REUTERS